The following is a post that I wrote for the conservative web site, www.conservative21.com. You should all check it out. Good stuff...
I know lots of people are thinking about Rick Perry right now. "Will he?" "Won't he?" "Should he?" "I hope he doesn't!" "I hope he does!" You get the picture. Well, as a Texan (even though I'm a relatively "new" Texan – living here just under 3 years) I thought I'd give a little perspective.
To be honest, since moving here I really haven't formed much of an opinion about Rick Perry. I heard him speak about a month ago, and, well, let's just say he won't win anything, much less the Republican nomination, based on his speaking skills.
I have, however, formed an opinion about the great state of Texas. Living here over the past 3 years, I've seen buildings go up, an influx of people move here (the town I live in was the fastest growing city in the US in '09 and we are bordered by #3), and businesses move here when most of the rest of the country was seeing the opposite. This is certainly because of the positive business regulation and tax climate we have here: no state income tax and a business-friendly environment. According to a recent article in the National Review, since Perry has been governor, Texas has added 732,800 private-sector jobs – the most in the country! Arizona comes in second during that time with less than 100,000. By comparison, California lost 623,700.
I love Texas. And I'm not the only one. We are one of the only states where it is legal to fly the flag of Texas at the same height as the American flag. The people of Texas are proud of their state, so it makes sense that we'd have a Federalist, 10th Amendment crazed governor!
What does all of that have to say about Rick Perry? I'm not sure. I know that everything in the previous two paragraphs is evidence of his record as governor. But, I also know that not everyone in Texas, including my conservative friends, likes Rick Perry. I posed the question, "What are your thoughts on Rick Perry?", to some of my friends on Facebook, and, surprisingly, not a single one had anything good to say. Here are a few quotes:
"Three words: Trans Texas Corridor. Not sure how the idea of a publicly-funded $150b highway to nowhere, created by eminent domaining half a million acres of land fits with conservatism, but that was Governor Hairgel's pet project."
"Did NOT like that he tried to make it mandatory for teen girls to have the HPV vaccine. :("
"He has nice hair."
"Unfortunately there's not much more to him than what she said" [referring to the hair comment].
So, what do I think? I think that whoever the GOP nominates to run against Obama will have some bad decisions, dumb votes, personal garbage, etc, on their record. It's next to impossible to find a "perfect" candidate. Rick Perry's record on jobs and not raising taxes will certainly be appealing to many Americans who are ready for a little "change". I hear the word "RINO" tossed around a lot with his name, but I'm wondering if it's based on a few decisions...namely the Trans Texas Corridor and the HPV bill. Everything else seems pretty okay (especially his hair).